5 things you need to know Thursday

5 things you need to know Thursday
The winners of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet members, sign the guest book inside the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Dec. 9, 2015.

Nobel laureates gather for awards ceremony.

This year’s Nobel Prize winners, who created drugs to save lives and chronicled lives lost in great tragedies, will receive their awards from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Thursday, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896. Among this year’s winners are Princeton economist Angus Deaton for his “analysis of consumption, poverty and welfare” and Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet for its efforts to bring democracy to the country. The complete list of 2015’s winners were announced in October.

Volkswagen executives discuss investigation into cheating on diesel emissions.

Volkswagen investigators have determined that engineers cheated U.S. Emissions tests in part because they could not figure out how to meet the standards, the company said Thursday. Volkswagen Group chairman Hans-Dieter Potsch told reporters that engineers erred by developing manipulative software to fool regulators because they “quite simply could not find a way to meet the tougher” limits for nitrogen oxide pollutants in the U.S. “We are not talking about a one-off mistake, but a whole chain of mistakes,” he said at a press conference in Germany that was live-streamed online and translated into English. The automaker held the press conference to provide an initial update on its investigation into its emissions scandal, which affects more than 11 million cars worldwide and is expected to cost the company tens of billions of dollars.

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Jared Fogle’s right-hand man to face judge.

Russell Taylor, the former head of Jared Fogle’s charitable foundation, will plead guilty on Thursday to producing and distributing child pornography. His sentencing will mark the end of an Indiana child pornography case that attracted international attention because of Fogle’s previous ties to Subway. For years, the two married fathers were partners in crime who outwardly promoted healthy lifestyles and helped young people, but secretly sought out strippers and profiteers, drank heavily and were involved in the seamy world of child pornography.

Walmart’s mobile-payment system debuts.

Walmart wants to make checking out in stores just a tad easier. On Thursday, it starts rolling out a new feature in its app called Walmart Pay, which allows customers to link payment types — a credit card, debit card, gift card, prepaid card — to the app and then check out in stores by launching the app, selecting Walmart Pay and scanning a QR code displayed on the payment terminal. Until now, Walmart hasn’t accepted any type of mobile wallet such as Apple Pay. Walmart Pay could link up with mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay in the future, executives said.

President to sign bill overhauling K-12 education policy.

President Obama will overhaul K-12 education policy and end more than a decade of strict federal control over schools by signing the Every Student Succeeds Act into effect Thursday, the White House says. The bill, which the House passed last week and Senate approved Wednesday, replaces the expired No Child Left Behind law and focuses less on standardized testing, making states once again responsible for fixing under-performing schools. It’s the first major rewrite of elementary and secondary school policy since President George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind in 2001.

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Short on time? Listen to the audio version of “5 Things” in the player below:.

Bonus: The Golden Globe nominations will be announced this morning, starting at 8:15 a.M. ET. Follow @USATODAYLife for the latest.

And, the essentials:.

Weather: More rain, snow and wind will pelt the Pacific Northwest on Thursday as mild weather continues for most of the eastern U.S.

Stocks: U.S. Stock futures pointed higher Thursday, after Wall Street fell for a third day.

TV tonight:Wondering what to watch tonight? TV critic Robert Bianco looks at Toy Story at 20, Michael Buble’s Christmas in Hollywood and Bones.

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